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Running Tips 4

When you come back from a training run, how do you know you have performed well?  Are you able to compare it to previous runs to monitor your progress?  The idea of keeping a training diary crosses the minds of many runners but is then often dismissed as being too time consuming or even plain geeky! But it doesn’t have to be the case. A simple record of your training can be a useful tool. It can allow you to see your progress clearly, provide extra motivation and also highlight some of the signs of overtraining. Most importantly it also makes the runner think “is what I’m doing effective, or could I do with altering my approach?” So for the next few weeks, set yourself the goal of keeping a training diary. Rather than running around in full anorak attire, with flask and notebook analysing every detail of your run let’s try and simplify things. For a very simple training diary all you have to do is write down a few things after you finish your run. Here are a few essentials you should be including: - The date – for future reference.- The run itself – the distance, the route, time taken, type of training session (e.g. intervals).- If you use a heart rate monitor you could record your start, max, and finishing HR for the run.- You may also like to keep a record of any physical changes to your body over time such as weight and resting heart rate.- How you felt before, during and after the run. In my opinion this is the most important thing to record.  For example if you felt like Paula Radcliffe gliding effortlessly over hills during one run then did the same run in a similar time a month later but felt as though you’d had six pints and a dodgy kebab the night before then clearly something isn’t right. Writing these things down forces you to consider this more and you are more likely to do something about it rather than carry on regardless. It goes without saying that if the majority of these things are improving over time then chances are your running is improving and your training is reasonably effective and appropriate for you. If things aren’t improving or even getting worse then perhaps you are overtraining or maybe what you are doing isn’t appropriate for your fitness level or goal. But at least you’d be able to sit down and have a re-think about what changes could be made. However if you had no record of what you were doing and how you were feeling this time last month other than a few hazy memories can you really be sure that you are any better or worse now?  Many runners will just continue in this pattern not really knowing if their training is most effective for them or not. So start getting those training diaries going and let’s see some progress! Happy Running Category: Club & Wellness
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